Do employees’ mistakes make you angry? Think twice28 Apr 2014
When an employee messes up, it’s not uncommon for a manager’s blood to boil, fists to clench and harsh words to be spoken.
However, if your first response to a mistake is anger, stop and step back from the situation for a moment. It is a very rare employee who would thrive under a tyrannical boss.
In fact, recent research from the University of New South Wales Australian School of Business revealed employees who fear their boss are actually less likely to be creative and innovative. This is because employees who worry about their boss exploding when something goes wrong will simply do what they have to do and nothing more in an effort to ensure the work they complete is 100 per cent correct.
So, instead of instilling fear in employees, how should you react when an error is made?
Check your expectations
If your employees are consistently failing to meet your expectations, the problem may actually be with you! When something goes wrong, look to yourself before placing the blame on other people. You may just find you are managing unrealistic expectations – a sure-fire way to guarantee they will keep making mistakes.
Focus on the problem, not the person
Don’t make it personal when an employee makes a mistake. People don’t make errors to make you and your team look bad, so there is no point getting upset with the person who messed up.
Instead, consider what measures you could put in place to safeguard against this issue in the future. You could find addressing this specific problem creates a simple solution to a long-standing productivity issue, which could mean you might end up thanking the employee for discovering the error!
Praise publicly, punish privately
When you embarrass or discipline an employee in front of their colleagues you encourage them to hide their failures to avoid your wrath.
Instead, when you foster an environment of trust and tolerant conflict management your employees will feel comfortable sharing their mistakes with you. You will develop a climate of trust and respect and employees will feel motivated to perform their very best for you and the team.